The Road Less Traveled

Is it just me or is it getting more difficult to act and – more importantly – be honest in today’s world? The on-ramp to the Road Less Traveled seems to have more potholes than ever. Let me explain.

Last January we booked a family cruise on Royal Caribbean. It was expected to sail across the Atlantic from San Juan to Rome in spring 2019. In March 2018, RCI canceled the cruise and refunded our deposit. We were able to rebook the same ship – now going from Miami to Rome. We repaid our deposit and all was well – right? Wrong.

Our travel agent – Crucon – was supposed to charge us for the remaining cruise amount at the end of November. I saw no evidence in my Visa statement that this had happened and no contact from Crucon so I emailed them giving rise to the following exchange:

Me: Shouldn’t you folks have charged me by now?

Crucon: No, it’s all paid for.

Me: No it isn’t. We still owe you the final payment. I’m afraid RCI will cancel if we don’t pay.

Crucon: RCI site is down right now. I’ll get back to you.

<Two days go by>

Me: Heard anything yet? I’m getting worried.

Crucon: We heard back from RCI. Your cruise is indeed paid for. In fact, you are due a refund which we will process for you.

Me: No,no,no! That is totally incorrect. I still owe you money. Please don’t let them cancel when they find the error. We have flights and accommodation booked and prepaid.

At this point the conversation switched to telephone between me and a Crucon customer service supervisor. She found out that RCI had no record of returning my original deposit, so they think I have two deposits with them – one for the canceled cruise and one for the rebook. Oy…at least I have the supervisor’s assurance that the cruise will not be canceled.

I have to give Crucon and RCI proof that I got my deposit back. I checked in with Visa since we got rid of a bunch of paper statements earlier this year. I have to go to the bank branch here in Almonte and they can reprint my March 2018 statement. Visa did confirm that I got a refund in March. After getting the printout I need to scan it and forward it to Crucon.

The bottom line is I have to go through the inconvenience of proving to a dumb cruise line accounting department that I do indeed owe them money. I suppose if I had done nothing they would have been none the wiser. But I would have been stealing from them. Honesty – always the best policy? Tell me about it.

Published by Ray MacDonald

Ray MacDonald is a retired food scientist who lives in Almonte, ON.
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